From the Dean
In this time of severe and growing shortage of nurses and nursing faculty, many believe the solution is to simply turn out more
nurses faster, maintaining the nursing status quo. This dated approach does not foster the development of new educational programs,
or the testing of new practice models. Rather, such innovations become viewed as "diversions."
The alumni and faculty of the UF College of Nursing believe we can never fix our broken health care systems or provide high qual-
ity nursing care for every patient by embracing the status quo. We view the current shortage as a tremendous opportunity to improve
the future of health care a chance to better educate nurses and reform delivery models so that every professional nurse is utilized to
the full extent of her or his knowledge, skill and ability. For these reasons, we are pioneering the Clinical Nurse Leader and Doctor of
Nursing Practice degree programs, and in partnership with clinical care leaders, are exploring new and better ways to shape health care
so that interdisciplinary teamwork is fostered and patients are the central focus of our efforts. We are also preparing a new generation
of nursing faculty who will educate and inspire professional nurses to be risk-takers and innovators, not satisfied with "good enough"
The status quo has never been acceptable in our College of Nursing. Founding Dean Dorothy Smith challenged all who worked with
her to change nursing for the better. The motto that guided our 50th anniversary celebration has never been more relevant. Every gradu-
ate is prepared to "care, lead, inspire"; every faculty member understands that teaching, research and practice must move nursing to a
new place. As our alumni, friends and supporters, I urge you to join with us as we advance the profession on behalf of those we serve.
Your encouragement, your gifts and your ideas are essential to move us to tomorrow.
Kathleen Ann Long
Dean, College of Nursing
The Promise of Tomorrow
The University of Florida holds the promise of the future:
Florida Tomorrow a place, a belief, a day. Florida Tomorrow is
filled with possibilities. Florida Tomorrow is for dreamers and
doers, for optimists and pragmatists, for scholars and entrepre-
neurs, all of whom are nurtured at Florida's flagship university:
the University of Florida, the foundation of the Gator Nation.
What is Florida Tomorrow? Here at the College of Nursing, we
believe it's an opportunity, one filled with promise and hope. It's
that belief that feeds the university's capital campaign to raise
more than $1 billion.
The Florida Tomorrow campaign will shape the university, cer-
tainly. But its ripple effect will also touch the state of Florida,
the nation and the entire world. Florida Tomorrow is pioneering
research and spirited academic programs. It's a fertile envi-
ronment for inquiry, teaching and learning. It's being at the
forefront to address the challenges facing all of us, both today
College of Nursing
Florida Tomorrow Campaign Goals
TOTAL $14 million
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Florida Tomorrow is a place ...
where every patient has access to safe, high-quality health care.
Solutions for Better Care
Anyone who has seen a family member hospitalized -
whether as an emergency or for a routine procedure wants to
believe his or her loved one will get the best possible care. Recent
studies show that safe, high-quality care requires the right num-
ber of well-educated nurses in supportive practice environments.
At UF's Blue Cross Blue Shield Center for Health Care Access,
a study of Florida's hospitals will add to a growing body of
research findings linking nursing variables to patient outcomes.
Professor Donna Neff is leading the UF study and will survey
35,000 Florida nurses to develop a good understanding of how
staffing and practice environments can affect patient care. One
goal of the study is to provide insights to prevent nurse burnout
and turnover, which contribute to high hospital costs and com-
pound the shortage.
"We want to find out about nurses' workplace environments
and the burdens and stressors that detract from nurses' effective-
ness," Neff says. "If we have an improved work environment,
nurses can function better and will stay in their positions that's
good for patients."
Neff's study is the first to be conducted under the auspices of
the UF Blue Cross Blue Shield Center, which will focus on patient
safety and quality care. The center, created in 2007 through a gift
from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, will develop strategies
to improve health care access and outcomes for Floridians and
demonstrate how these can be applied nationally. In addition to
collecting data on nurses' work environments and their impact
on patient care, Neff's work will also identify the "best prac-
tices" used by hospitals and other health care agencies to attract
and retain nurses. Contributions of foreign-educated nurses will
also be considered. Neff hopes to gain insights related to care out-
comes for older patients, an area of particular interest in Florida.
"Nurses are often given responsibility without the authority or
environmental supports necessary to effect good outcomes for their
patients. Nurses must be included in the decision-making process
that determines hospital environments, and they must have the
education necessary to fully participate in such decision-making,"
She will involve undergraduate and graduate students, as
well as practicing nurses, in her research and in studying impli-
cations of her research. Her ultimate goal is to lead in improving
Florida Tomorrow is a day ...
when well-educated nurses lead in the transformation of care.
Afua Arhin and Ann Huesinger share a dream to make a last-
ing impact on their profession by educating the next generation of
nurses. Although they came to teaching from very different back-
grounds, UF's flexible doctoral-study options made it possible for
both to pursue that goal while juggling jobs and families.
The College of Nursing's effort to prepare high-achieving stu-
dents for academic careers has established UF as a leader in
addressing the shortage of nursing faculty nationwide. While the
shortage of direct care nurses often makes news, the faculty short-
age compounds the growing crisis. A survey by the American
Association of Colleges of Nursing estimates that nursing schools
in the United States turned away 42,866 qualified applicants in
2006, largely due to lack of faculty.
Arhin was already teaching at Florida Agricultural &
Mechanical University in Tallahassee when she went back to
school. She needed a doctorate to advance her career in nurs-
ing education and enrolled in UF's North Florida Ph.D. Nursing
Consortium to complete her degree without leaving her job.
Partnering with state nursing programs at Florida A&M, Florida
State and the universities of North Florida and West Florida, the
consortium allows students to pursue UF doctoral degrees while
studying in Tallahassee, Jacksonville or Pensacola. Arhin grad-
uated from UF through the consortium in 2005 and is now an
associate dean at Grambling State University in Louisiana.
"The research opportunities I had at UF gave me a stronger
resume," she says. "Without that, I don't think I would be an
associate dean just two years after graduation."
Huesinger, who took classes in her hometown of Jacksonville,
looked forward to combining her doctoral studies and years of
practice experience to better educate tomorrow's nurses.
She'd worked in patient care for 25 years and initially went
back to school at UF's College of Nursing to earn a bachelor's
degree, but was encouraged to consider the college's fast-track
B.S.N. to Ph.D. program.
"I saw myself as a mom and a nurse," she says. "A doctorate
was not something that was part of my reality. But the faculty at
UF really thought I could do it."
"There were places I wanted to go as a nurse that I couldn't go
with the education I had," Huesinger says. "To me, the best thing
about being a nurse has always been being able to teach, whether
it was teaching new nurses or teaching patients. It's really fulfill-
ing to be able to make a difference."
Doctoral preparation from UF allows Huesinger and Arhin to
teach in the most meaningful ways: inspiring the next generation
of excellent professional nurses.
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Florida Tomorrow is a belief
that new professional nursing roles will save lives.
In the increasingly complicated world of patient care, a typi-
cal hospital stay might include visits from several physicians and
a team of nurses, along with input from specialists, nutrition-
ists, social workers, pharmacists and nursing administrators. For
patients, the bevy of faces and technologies can be bewildering.
Amanda Brown, a graduate of UF's Clinical Nurse Leader
(CNL) graduate program, coordinates the array of resources to
ensure the best outcome for each patient.
"Clinical nurse leaders were a missing piece in patient care,"
says Brown, who secured a job at Wolfson Children's Hospital in
Jacksonville before graduating. "There are so many technologies
and services available to patients now, and the CNL will integrate
care from all of those resources."
Clinical nurse leaders personalize and coordinate that care.
"Every patient I care for as a CNL will see me every day. They
and their families will know I am their point person in the maze
of hospital personnel," Brown explains.
The health care crisis gripping the nation involves a set of com-
plexities, and the nursing shortage is a key component. Even
so, a growing number of studies demonstrate that yesterday's
approaches to delivering care won't provide long-term solutions.
To create a new kind of nursing professional one trained to
coordinate, manage and evaluate patient care UF's College of
Nursing is one of the first schools to pilot the CNL program. Its first
class, which included Brown and five others, graduated in 2007.
The clinical nurse leader role requires a clear link between prac-
tice and education. UF partners with Shands at UF, Shands AGH,
Shands Jacksonville, Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, Wolfson
Children's Hospital and Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville.
"We were excited to be working with the University of
Florida, especially on the CNL program," says Carolyn Johnson,
Wolfson's chief nursing officer. "At the acute care hospital level,
we found deficits existed much of the master's-level education
had moved to specialized primary care NP roles, and that caused
graduates with master's degrees to leave hospital-based prac-
tice. The CNL fills the gap for master's-prepared generalist nurses
focused on direct care for hospitalized patients."
The program has been so favorable that at Wolfson, leaders
envision placing a clinical nurse leader on every surgical floor.
"This is a role that was lacking before leadership at the bed-
side by an expert nurse who will focus on the patient. It allows
highly educated nurses to stay at the bedside and yet be leaders in
the forefront of patient care," says Jane Gannon, coordinator of the
Clinical Nurse Leader program. "What we've found, at least ini-
tially, is this improves communication among the entire health care
team and dramatically improves patient care."
Our Vision of Tomorrow
As the flagship nursing school in Florida, the UF College of
Nursing serves the health care needs of both the state and nation.
We consistently attract the finest students and faculty members,
and for over 50 years, have produced national leaders in health
care practice, administration, policy and education. Providing a
high-quality academic experience for the very best and brightest
requires private investments in faculty, students and equipment
to continue our tradition of excellence.
Currently, the state of Florida suffers from a critical nursing
shortage that is expected to worsen due to an even more severe
nursing faculty shortage, an expanding and aging population,
and the ever-increasing complexity of care. UF is not only lead-
ing the way in preparing new faculty and better-educated nurses
to address this shortage, but we are examining the reasons for the
shortage and developing ways to lessen its impact in the future.
Through research conducted by our faculty members we are eval-
uating the nurse's role in the health care system and identifying
strategies to ensure that each nurse is utilized to the full extent of
his or her knowledge, skill and ability. Private dollars provide the
resources necessary to recruit and retain premiere faculty mem-
bers needed to lead in these efforts.
UF has the oldest and the best graduate nursing education pro-
grams in Florida, and we are thus well positioned to prepare
those who will serve as teachers and mentors for future genera-
tions of nurses. Private gifts help us invest in our current faculty,
recruit and retain excellent new faculty members, and support
graduate students. Through these efforts the shortage of nurse
educators will be lessened in the future and nursing education
capacity exponentially increased.
Research is a critical part of our overall goal: excellent health
care for all. Nursing research focuses directly on improving
clinical care for patients, helping families cope with illness, pre-
venting disease and disability, and devising ways to promote
optimal health. Private funding to expand our research is essen-
tial as it provides seed money for pilot studies that can then become
major, federally funded projects. Private funding allows the college
to attract those investigators whose work will advance the safety and
quality of care. -.
We take great pride in the clinical expertise of our faculty members.
Every day they exemplify the dedication to excellence in patient care
that we strive to develop in our students. Practice endeavors, such as
our nurse-managed Archer Family Health Care clinic, set the standard --
for cost-effective, high-quality care provided by faculty members and
their students. Rural and underserved communities such as Archer,
Fla., benefit significantly from our commitment to provide the best
possible care regardless of an individual's ability to pay. Private gifts
enable us to develop and maintain ventures such as Archer Family
Health Care where students are introduced to the satisfaction that
comes from working with families and communities to improve over-
Your gift to the UF College of Nursing will make a significant dif-
ference well beyond our academic setting. Your resources enable us
to prepare a better-educated nursing workforce for tomorrow, and
thus ultimately improve health care for Floridians and for people
across the globe.
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